Australian Open: Wawrinka Survives a Five-Set Scare in First Round

the world no. 5 fought back from a break down in the final set.

2 min read
World no. 5 Stanislaw Wawrinka. (Photo: AP)

Switzerland's Stanislaw Wawrinka survived a scare from Slovakia's Martin Klizan on Monday, fighting back from a break down in the final set to move into the Australian Open second round with a 4-6 6-4 7-5 4-6 6-4 victory.

It was a big fight tonight. (The comeback) came from fighting every day, on and off the court. It was a great atmosphere here and I am happy to be back. He was playing well, he was close to winning. It was a tough match.
Stan Wawrinka

It took the world number four more than three hours to subdue his left-handed opponent to cries of "Allez Stan" from the crowd in the Margaret Court Arena.

For long periods of the match Wawrinka was far from his best with errors flowing from his racket. But the 2014 champion slowly found the range on his groundstrokes to move ahead, although the outcome remained in the balance until the final few minutes.

Klizan, who had chances to win the second set, looked like the favourite when he broke to lead in the decider. But Wawrinka doggedly held on and broke from nowhere to make it 4-4.

In the following game he struck the 35th-ranked Klizan with a ferocious forehand from point-blank range, before immediately jumping over the net to check on his opponent.

Serving to stay in the match Klizan had no luck with a challenge at 30-30 – the replay showing Wawrinka's flashing winner had found a line – and the Slovak bowed out when he netted a forehand on Wawrinka's first match point.

It preserved Wawrinka's record of never having lost in the first round of the Australian Open, although it was a close call. The Swiss will face American Steve Johnson next.

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